Securities fraud attorneys are currently investigating claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses in the non-traded Hines REIT. Potential claims related to the Hines REIT include unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentation and overconcentration of investment funds. The Hines REIT was launched in 2004; as of September 20, 2012, it comprised 55 properties in 24 geographic markets. As of December 2009, Hines suspended its share redemption plan except when in connection to the disability or death of a stockholder.
Unfortunately, Hines REIT investors have found themselves in a tight spot when they want to sell their investment. Because the Hines REIT is non-traded, investors are forced to sell through a secondary market, through an auction or privately. Investors who sell through a secondary marketmay be forced to accept a price far below their purchase price. Investors also may choose to hold onto their shares in the hopes that the real estate investment trust will decide to make a public offering and register with the Securities and Exchange Commission or pursue another liquidity event such as a merger with a publicly traded company.
Investment fraud lawyers are investigating the possibility that full-service brokerage firms may be held liable for the recommendation of the Hines REIT. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority rules have established that brokers and firms have an obligation to fully disclose all the risks of a given investment when making recommendations, and those recommendations must be suitable for the individual investor receiving the recommendation given their age, investment objectives and risk tolerance. Non-traded REITs like this one are illiquid and inherently risky and, therefore, not suitable for many investors.
Securities fraud attorneys say non-traded REIT investments like the Hines REIT typically offer commissions between 7-10 percent, which is significantly higher than traditional investments like mutual funds and stocks. In some cases, the commission generated by these investments can be as high as 15 percent. This higher commission can explain why brokerage firms are motivated to recommend these investments despite their possible unsuitability.
If you purchased the Hines REIT or another risky, non-traded REIT and suffered significant losses as a result, you may be able to recover your losses through securities arbitration. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact an investment fraud lawyer at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.